When to Organize to 100%

I have written a lot on the subject of perfectionism-as-a-barrier. People often confuse organizing with a quest to be perfect and that’s a mistake. Organizing is more about managing priorities effectively. That said, although we usually don’t have the time to be perfect, there are times when managing priorities benefits from pushing things to 100%. Here are three examples.

One, Two, Four-get It!

I have a simple little theory that explains why it is so hard to stay organized. While I have never tested it scientifically, I have observed it throughout my life and in almost every home I have organized. I call it the One, Two, Four-get it! theory.

It begins with two other organizing beliefs of mine. First, I believe that a clear work surface is your number one organizing tool. Second, I believe that limitations breed freedom. For example, if you limit the

“Out Where I Can See It.”

“Out Where I Can See It” is an understandable need, but the problem is if everything is important, then nothing is important. If the front page of a newspaper appeared solid gray with unbroken text, you probably wouldn’t bother with it. It’s too overwhelming. Not only would it take time to prioritize the most important articles, it would take time just to see them!

Swimming Upstream

I have observed folks making some pretty odd choices in an effort to gain surface area.  Now don’t get me wrong.  Gaining surface area is a very worthy goal.  In fact, I have often stated that a clear work surface is the MOST valuable tool in getting organized and staying organized, but only if it HELPS with regular processes, NOT …

Out With The Old!

It’s only natural to want to make a fresh start in the upcoming New Year. Now is the perfect time to clear out your stuff from 2008 and create space for the new possibilities of 2009. This installment of Organizing Works is dedicated to getting rid of those old papers in your home or office. Sure, it may seem like an overwhelming task, but it’s surprisingly manageable if you know what to do and what NOT to do. Here are three tips for starters: